NFL Week 12: Thanksgiving Slate Picks

I've got a large bird, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole to get to today, but there is also a 3 game portion of NFL to fit in.

When selecting on a 3 game slate, it is nearly impossible to find EV+ picks across the board. You're likely going to have to try and hone in on a single team you think is going to have a good day offensively, but you also have to keep in mind that if that team is expected to have a good day, ownership percentages are going to be through the roof.

When I played a small primetime slate back in Week 10, I found it profitable to stack Cardinals in a supposed bad matchup against the Seahawks. The Bengals and Texans did mostly nothing on Monday Night, so my Cardinals stack got me a very nice ROI of 800% on the GPP that night.

So with that in mind, here are some DFS picks for the Turkey Day slate.


It seems pretty obvious that most people will look at Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers since salary restriction isn't going to be an issue with such a small slate. But the 3-7 Dallas Cowboys are favored at home against the 10-0 Panthers. Why? Vegas knows something. Tony Romo is going to have to decipher a tough Panthers pass D, but if he does produce, he's going to be fairly low-owned compared to some of the other QBs on the slate.


You can pay up with no problem for Matt Forte, DeMarco Murray or Darren McFadden today. But who is the guy you need to get to differentiate your lineup in a GPP? I can't believe I'm about to say this, but its Ameer Abdullah. I know. This guy has been total trash all season. I drafted him in 3 season-long fantasy leagues and was thrilled by his week 1 TD vs San Diego, and since then it has been a black mark on my otherwise successful fantasy year.

We have to take a ridiculous risk in a GPP on such a small slate if we want to score big. Abdullah is finally seeing more touches in the Lions backfield, and Philly has been a mess on both sides of the ball. If Abdullah is going to produce anything, today will be the day. Hopefully he isn't a total turkey. Eddie Lacy is another underachiever who might feast today. Jay Cutler has a tendency to lose his shit against Green Bay in Lambeau and go turnover crazy. We haven't seen that Cutler yet this year, but in a bad weather game, this could be Lacy's day to eat.

So grab yourself a turkey leg and roll with Lacy and pair up with whichever chalky back you like best. Out of McFadden, Murray, and Forte, I think I will roll with Murray today.

Also, if you're looking for another Hail Mary, be wary of Mike Tolbert. The chance he puts up 3 TDs are about the same as the chance he puts up a goose egg, so this would be the ultimate risky pick.


Dez Bryant is facing Josh Norman. Alshon Jeffery and Calvin Johnson are a bit banged up. Randall Cobb has been pretty disappointing all year. Now you're looking at nothing but value plays at WR.

Golden Tate, Jordan Matthews, James Jones, Marquess Wilson, Devin Funchess, Cole Beasley, Jerricho Cotchery. These are some names we'd never consider, but when under the microscope, we have to find the contrarian philosophy. My goodness. I don't know if I'll even be able to spend $40k today in salary, much less 50.


Again, value, value, value. Greg Olsen might be 70% owned in this slate. Some people will likely pivot to Jason Witten, but we have a couple of golden value plays in Brent Celek and Zach Miller. Both are going to have to be heavily involved in the passing game due to injuries, and both could be playing from behind, forcing more targets their way.


Most people will have no problem paying up for Carolina and Green Bay. If we expect that Dallas will win today, it could mean Cam Newton being forced to throw the ball, which can lead to turnovers. If I'm stacking Cowboys, I'll roll with the defense as well. Gulp.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

-- DF

Derek Finley

Existing in a world of psychotic monkeys. Writing about sports for passion. Thirsting for knowledge and beer.